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Importance of Ergonomics for Adults and Children
Today, the rapid use of screens among adults and children has increased their physical and mental problems. As physical health is directly linked with mental health, there is a need for a proper ergonomic-friendly workspace. The different types and styles of work require to have customized and comfortable workspace. The minimalist space and less clutter can lead to an increase in productivity and efficiency. By not following proper ergonomics, there would be a high risk of injury and long-term pain. So, it is important to understand the basics of ergonomics among adults and children and create an ergonomic workspace effectively.
Ergonomics refers to the science of arranging workspace so to maximize comfort and reduce any injury. With proper ergonomics, productivity and efficiency at work can increase. In the tech-savvy world with work-from-home trending, it is important to become adjusted in line with ergonomics. The frequent use of computers and laptops can result in poor body posture and long-term pains. So, all the essentials of a physical setup such as a chair, keyboard, monitor, desks, and lighting should be arranged to give a comfortable experience.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, employees and employers had to work from home. Also, students had to attend virtual classes. This not only kept them away to work from table but also caused pain in the neck, back, shoulders, and wrists. While undergoing such pain, there was a rise in adapting the ergonomics for adults and children. People understood the importance of good posture for enhancing overall productivity. Thus, there was a rise in creating an effective ergonomic workspace with all the things kept at proper positions. This resulted in rising demand for adjustable folding laptop table.
Ergonomic at Home Office
Working from home is the new normal, though being safe can be depressing too. Instead of a typical office desk, one can now work on a laptop table or bed table. So, when working full-time remotely, it is essential to create a workspace that doesn’t hamper physical or mental health. Without proper physical setup, work from home can lead to disturbance in ergonomics for most people.
If the ergonomic setup is not right, people can suffer from different musculoskeletal problems, including muscle strains, tendonitis, lower back injuries, and carpal tunnel syndrome. This may further lead to muscle fatigue and decreased productivity at work. Thus, the ergonomics basics focus on head and neck, hand and wrist position, back support posture, and frequent short breaks.
There is a requirement for different equipment according to different professions. Some common tables that are multi-purpose in nature include drafting table, drawing table and laptop table. These tables should be adjustable so to avoid any injury. Along with tables, chairs should be comfortable and padded so that back posture is not affected. The microphones should be used at an optimum volume level so that it doesn’t affect eardrums.
Teachers should make use of a whiteboard stand at an appropriate height. Also, if they are using blackboard, the black board stand should be at a height that doesn’t affect their ergonomics. These stands should be adjustable according to the height of the person. This would help them maintain their posture and prevent any strain on the eyes or neck. Further, it is necessary to take breaks after 30 minutes so as not to put excess pressure on the legs and feet.
When using a drafting table, the experts should go for an adjustable height drafting table such as Genius2010 and Genius2020. Though a drawing table can be used for multiple purposes, one should prefer an adjustable drawing board. Since these are multipurpose tables, they should be adjustable and foldable to give a good and comfortable experience. Even if the person is sitting on a couch or bed, a foldable board and table can help.
While assessing ergonomics at the home office, some points need to be remembered. These include the amount of muscle effort, task repetition, and awkward seating/standing posture. The major ergonomic mistakes at the workplace may include phone cradle, improper seating, monitor height, lack of wrist rests, and angular body positioning.
Ergonomic for Children
Amid the pandemic, there has been a rise in virtual classes. With excess exposure to screens, it has become necessary to understand ergonomics among children. The use of electronic devices can cause repetitive strain on eyes and body muscles, leading to many injuries. Thus, a correct ergonomically setup is important to prevent long-term problems.
To avoid injuries and long-term problems, the parents need to pay attention to some factors affecting the children’s body posture. In the virtual setup, there should be a proper lighting and sound system along with screens placed at eye level. With an effective setup, parents can ensure that their children remain active for a long period of time.
Various warning signs indicate ergonomic workplaces to be faulty for children. These include muscular pain, shrugged-up shoulders, and rounded back posture. Among other physical side-effects, weak back muscles, muscle tightness, and neck pain. This results in poor body posture at younger age leading to difficulty in concentration.
An adjustable and foldable study table accompanied with natural lightning and children-friendly headphones can set the ergonomics right for children. A good bed or sofa table can help prevent putting strains on the eyes and neck. Further, there is the importance of proper and frequent breaks that refreshes the children and keep them active. Using the Pomodoro effect on children is the best concept to be used for ergonomics.
The child should sit on a chair for good back posture instead of a couch or bed. The top of the screen should be maintained below the eye level of children. The thighs should be parallel to the floor and feet firmly kept. The elbows, hips, and knees should be at 90-100-degree angles. The volume of headphones should be 60 percent at the maximum.
Further, parents should plan family activities weekly and make use of activity trackers. In fact, any physical activity of 30 minutes daily should be conducted for children. Also, activity trackers can be used as a friendly challenge between parents and children. Thus, with a virtual setup, physical activities are essential to maintain ergonomics for children.
Creating an Ergonomic Workspace
A workspace with good ergonomics can help reduce the possibility of injuries and pain. Sitting in front of desks can be exhausting. Thus, an ergonomic workspace should be effectively created with the right equipment and proper physical setup.
Having a good and comfortable chair while working on a laptop can help in keeping a healthy posture. A hard-backed chair, when padded well with a seat cushion, lets the knees stay at the level of hips. The height of the chair should be such that feet rest on the floor firmly and thighs are parallel to it. With the comfortable armrests, one can let the shoulders relax. A good and comfortable chair can provide neck and lumbar support.
While using an external keyboard, make sure it’s such placed that the wrists get relaxation. The keyboard should be placed an inch or two above thighs to put minimal pressure on the upper body. Keeping wrists straight with upper arms closer to the body and hands below the elbow level can be a convenient position to work. For balancing ergonomics, a keyboard tray can also be used.
Similar to an office desk, while working from home, there should be an appropriate computer desk. An adjustable desk is ergonomic and helps to adjust it according to the height of the person. Working sitting on a chair, the desk should have padded edges or wrist rests. Using an adjustable and foldable study table or a bed laptop table can be good options while relaxing on a couch, sofa, or bed. One can use a standing desk, too, that can act as a mini-exercise while improving the overall posture. Thus, a desk should be at an optimum height level, neither too high nor too low.
Working in front of the screen can cause strain on your eyes, neck, shoulders, and lower back, further causing muscle cramps. It is important to adjust the monitor level to get a comfortable experience. A monitor should be kept at arm’s length from the sitting position. The head should be slightly tilted so as to avoid any strain on the neck. For those wearing bifocals, shifting the monitor screen level at 2 to 3 inches lower can provide comfortable viewing. The light source should be behind the person.
To avoid any pain and discomfort while working from home, it is better to use the ergonomics technique followed by the Pomodoro technique. Though setting up a workspace seems expensive, there are various simple and affordable options to proceed with. The best laptop table and padded and comfortable chairs with other essentials should be placed at a proper angle. This can reduce discomfort in both adults and children.